Each year, the editors of Wine Enthusiast sip and sup their way around the country, seeking eateries that incorporate wine in thoughtful and exciting ways. This list isn’t a ranking, nor is there a matrix of number of bottles, prices or types of food. Instead, it is a selection of restaurants where wine is shared and celebrated, and where, in our experiences, the selection, food, service and atmosphere are all exceptional. Cheers!
Mainer has reviewed Baristas and Bites, and
We were so wrong. Baristas + Bites’ Hummus + Veggie Wrap rockets beyond bland with an incredibly fresh (like, made that morning), house-made hummus. This is a colorful wrap with perfectly ripe, crisp vegetables: spicy arugula, pickled onion, shredded carrots, sliced red peppers, bright red tomatoes, and cucumbers. There is a perfect balance of flavors, with a bit of acid, spice and salt. The hummus itself is expertly seasoned and has the added texture of red onion, pumpkin seeds and whole chickpeas.
The Press Herald has reviewed the Quality Shop.
When I got there my order was ready. The two burgers were very warm, wrapped in foil. They were much bigger than I expected for a two-fer deal. Both were thick, with white American cheese, on buns that had been buttered and grilled. They came with a white-and-red box of crinkle-cut fries, also hot.
The Blueberry Files has published a fist look at Flood’s.
Our mains were the chicken schnitzel ($22) and the cheeseburger ($18), plus sides of creamed spinach ($8) and charred broccolini ($7). The schnitzel was crispy and moist inside, livened up with some hot sauce, salt, and lemon. The creamed spinach was my personal favorite, as it has been since childhood…And the burger was amazing…
“This small town in Maine should be on every food lover’s bucket list” declares Travel & Leisure. No, they’re not writing about Portland, but about Biddeford.
Our favorite stops were Elements, a bookstore/coffee shop/beer bar, which is perfect for an afternoon of browsing and sousing; and the town’s first real claim to chef-driven cuisine, Elda (entrées $26–$30), the brainchild of Bowman Brown, previously of Salt Lake City’s widely admired Forage. Everything about Elda—from the open kitchen to the seafood-centered menu—is impeccable and warm.
The Press Herald has reviewed the Other Side Diner.
I went with the omelet, which was cooked perfectly and filled with fresh, sauteed spinach. Instead of toast I asked for an English muffin, which was split and toasted on the griddle, and slathered in butter. Thin and crispy; so simple yet so good. The hash browns come in a ball shape – somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball – and are crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside.
The Press Herald has reviewed the Three Dollar Deweys.
The new and improved version of Three Dollar Deweys includes some slight layout changes, nicely renovated bathrooms and a menu revamp that I’ll discuss later, but by far the most exciting development, in my opinion, is that there’s now a specialty cocktail menu featuring 10 drinks ranging from $8 to $13. I went with the $11.50 blood orange martini, one of my drinking companions ordered the $13 Commercial Street (tequila, apricot brandy liqueur, cranberry juice and fresh lime juice), and my other friend chose the $12 Paloma (tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar and soda water).
The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the David’s 388 and David’s, and
Equally, it’s hard not to like David’s 388, which opened in 2005. With a terse menu that stitches together New American, French and Italian bistro influences, he and his team put out rock-solid dishes like soft, pan-fried seafood and sweet potato cakes; boozy pecan tartlettes; and a classic bacon burger he slides into tranches of transverse-cut focaccia.
the West End News has reviewed the Hot Suppa.
For starters Alex had the Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade, perfectly fried and paired well with savory dipping sauce. For me it was an outstanding Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo. Neither of us could get enough of it (especially him, since it was intended for me). I’d wished it was a bowl and served as a main entrée. It was that good!
The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Gross Confection Bar, and
By and large, Dadaleares’ sweet dishes are superb, each one a tiny experiment that explores balance among sweet, tart and savory flavors, as well as tender, yielding textures and boisterous crunch. Bar manager Jaren Rivas’s beverage program offers its own host of surprisingly savory cocktails alongside local draft beers and mostly dry wines — ideal for pairing with even the sweetest dessert on Gross’ engaging and adventurous menu.
the Press Herald has reviewed the Royale Lunch Bar.
Well, what can I say? The Bifteck sandwich was a glorious feast, a tantalizing symphony for my taste buds and a sublime moment of sandwich perfection. And here’s where I’m going to shock you, so be ready: I couldn’t eat the whole thing. And I ALWAYS eat the whole thing. But this thing was substantial and paired with those hand-cut fries, I couldn’t slay the beast, try as I did. But I ate most of it and savored every morsel. My only regret is that I wish I had a George Constanza-esque napping area beneath my desk to hide away in for a post-meal siesta.
The Boston Globe has published an eating and drinking guide to Portland.
Portland is like Disney for diners. The charming city on Casco Bay is chock-full of excellent little restaurants, clustered together and worth lining up for. From sparkling seafood to the best baked goods, food here is a tourist attraction unto itself. Don’t spend your time roaming the Old Port in search of overpriced lobster rolls. Instead, head to the places where delicious food meets a distinctive point of view. Here’s where to start when you visit this little city with a big-time food scene, as well as a couple of don’t-miss spots less than 20 miles away.
Featured restaurants: Central Provisions, Cong Tu Bot, Drifters Wife, Duckfat, Elda, Eventide, Fore Street, Mr. Tuna, Palace Diner, Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, Rose Foods, Standard Baking, Tandem, The Honey Paw.
Hop Culture has posted an eating and drinking guide to Portland.
Portland’s excellent food and drink scene has never been a secret, but whatever gems may have been hidden were unearthed when Bon Appetit named Portland its restaurant city of 2018 — a very well-deserved distinction. The beauty of a city like Portland, Maine, though, is that it never stops growing. Sure, your favorite little Portland joint may have blown up overnight, but there’s going to be a new crop of hotspots just around the corner.
The Hop Culture team spent a short weekend exploring the best food and drink in Portland, attempting to come up with our own beer-focused guide to the city. Many of our choices are “easy” (Tandem, Drifter’s Wife, Rose Foods Austin Street, etc.) but we hope you discover a few new favorites as we did.